Michelle Mone appointed by David Cameron to help people in deprived areas start businesses

Founder of Ultimo lingerie, Michelle Mone, has been appointed by David Cameron as the government’s new entrepreneurship expert for areas of high unemployment.

Glasgow-born Mone will focus on reviewing the obstacles people in deprived areas face when they come to starting up. Specifically, she will be aiming to encourage benefit claimants, women, young people, disabled people and ex-offenders to become entrepreneurs.

Mone left school at fiteen and was in her twenties when she founded underwear brand Ultimo, which she sold an 80% stake in last year for a multi-million pound deal. This new role for Mone will ask her to reflect on her own experiences, which included leaving school with no qualifications and having a child at the age of eighteen.

"It's an honour to be appointed to lead this review, because I know how tough it can be setting up successful businesses," she said.

"My philosophy is that it does not matter where you are from, what education you have, or if you are from an affluent background or not - you can make it if you work hard, set your goals and never give up."

Hear, hear – that’s definitely something we agree with at Virgin StartUp. There are so many ways to fund your business and find support these days that it’s becoming easier for anyone to turn their business idea into a reality.

We’re pleased to see the government taking a step to promote entrepreneurship, as there’s a huge number of unemployed people that could be running fantastic businesses. Of the 650 entrepreneurs we’ve funded over the last 18 months, 21% were unemployed before. Now they have the funding to launch and we’ve matched them with a mentor to help guide them through the first year in entrepreneurship.

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